January 2019

Eastington pervert found in possession of vile images of child abuse

An Eastington man who was found in possession of vile images of child abuse and extreme pornography has avoided jail at Gloucester Crown Court.

James Keeling, 59, of Middle Street, Eastington, admitted two charges of making indecent images of children, one of possessing a prohibited images of a child, and one of having an extreme pornographic image showing adults engaging in sexual activities with animals.

Prosecutor Susan Cavender told Judge Michael Cullum, sitting at Gloucester Crown Court, that police attended Keeling’s home on June 8 last year.

They had been passed information from an online application called ‘Chatstep’, she said.

“He immediately made admissions,” the barrister said. “The laptop was the only device on which images were found.”

When his laptop was examined two category B images and three category C images of child abuse were found along with nine prohibited images and 29 images of extreme pornography.

The prosecutor told the judge: “The officer said they were opportunistic offences.

“Chatstep made it really easy. Since that time they have tightened their procedures.

“For weak-minded individuals, something like Chatstep was so easy to use; it was an entirely opportunistic offence,” Miss Cavender said.

Judge Cullum noted: “This, perhaps unusually, does not include any category A images.

“Although it sounds like the number of images are significant, there are relatively few compared to similar cases.

“My starting point is that this is a case where there should be a community order.

“I know he is working with Lucy Faithfull Foundation and funding it himself,” the judge said.

Matthew Harbinson, representing Keeling, said: “He is halfway through a course and finding it of significant benefit.”

The court heard that Keeling had no previous convictions.

Imposing a 24-month community order with 25 rehabilitation activity sessions, the judge said: “It is a great shame on you that you have to be sentenced for a sexual offence of images of children.

“Each image that you view for your own sexual gratification, portrays a real victim, for the pleasure of you and others.

“This is not a victimless offence,” the judge told him. “You will be confronting that reality on a weekly basis, to ensure that you never, ever, get into this position again.

“You will never be in trouble again I am sure. There is a need for you to rehabilitate yourself.

“If you re-offend with this on your list of convictions you will most likely go to prison. Very few re-offenders escape custody for this offence.”

Keeling was ordered to pay £200 in costs and was barred from working with children.

He was also placed on the sex offender register for five years.